Gap-Increasing Policy Evaluation for Efficient and Noise-Tolerant Reinforcement Learning

18 Jun 2019  ·  Tadashi Kozuno, Dongqi Han, Kenji Doya ·

In real-world applications of reinforcement learning (RL), noise from inherent stochasticity of environments is inevitable. However, current policy evaluation algorithms, which plays a key role in many RL algorithms, are either prone to noise or inefficient. To solve this issue, we introduce a novel policy evaluation algorithm, which we call Gap-increasing RetrAce Policy Evaluation (GRAPE). It leverages two recent ideas: (1) gap-increasing value update operators in advantage learning for noise-tolerance and (2) off-policy eligibility trace in Retrace algorithm for efficient learning. We provide detailed theoretical analysis of the new algorithm that shows its efficiency and noise-tolerance inherited from Retrace and advantage learning. Furthermore, our analysis shows that GRAPE's learning is significantly efficient than that of a simple learning-rate-based approach while keeping the same level of noise-tolerance. We applied GRAPE to control problems and obtained experimental results supporting our theoretical analysis.

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